ERIC Number: ED344224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
From Textual to Sexual Harassment.
A case involving the harassment of a female college writing instructor by an older, male student serves as a model to provide a framework for dealing with similar problems in the future. This case moved from initial acts of challenging authority in the classroom and monopolizing office hours to the bizarre: obscene phone calls, mysterious mail, and abusive letters to department heads and academic deans. Four phenomena which can be observed in the institutional treatment of harassment victims are the following: (1) the harasser appropriates the role of victim; (2) the situation is redefined by the appropriation of the victim's role, at which time male discourse patterns are re-established; (3) the harasser, having demonstrated his "plight," can begin validating his behavior through institutional responses; and (4) the female's subjectivity is erased and the issue is dealt with on an exclusively male terrain. These phenomena can be seen, for instance, in the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. Once this four-step process gets set into motion, the probability that the harassed subject's reality will be denied increases dramatically. Thus, intervention in matters of harassment must be done quickly, at the initial point when a victim brings the problem of harassment to someone else's attention. (Four citations are included; an appendix provides four writing samples which document the cited student-teacher relationship.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: MacKinnon (Catherine); Male Female Relationship; Sex Exploitation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992). Handwritten comments in the appendix will reproduce poorly.